The most surprising World Cup in tournament history?
Up to 5 billion viewers are glued to their screens right now, according to FIFA estimates for the audience watching the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, eagerly following all the action involving 32 international teams. Many of the most famous and popular players are there, filled with ambitions of leading their sides to glory. But some of them have already experienced the most unexpected surprises.
Fans and followers around the whole globe are watching events unfold with keen interest, including those located in Vietnam, dreaming that one day their national team will feature in the elite football tournament. Many are looking to participate a little more directly, wagering on the outcome of games. The latest Asiabet guide in Vietnamese aims to help with advice and reviews, available via Các trang web cá cược World Cup 2022 tốt nhất, covering every angle.
Given the popularity of predicting results, the fortunes of underdog teams may be worth watching a little more carefully, given the shock outcomes produced in the group stage of the FIFA World Cup. And at the time of writing, there have already been two monumental defeats for previous tournament winners, featuring teams that had been tipped to go far at the tournament in Qatar.
Argentina left stunned by Saudi Arabia heroics
Playing his final World Cup tournament, 35-year-old superstar Lionel Messi arrived in Qatar with ambitious expectations for Argentina, especially after helping the national team win the continental Copa America championship in 2021. Bookmakers also fancied the Albiceleste selection as potential World Cup winners, although all of that could now be in tatters.
Predicted to be their easiest opponent, everything appeared to be going to script, when Messi fired Argentina ahead from the penalty spot inside ten minutes. But after having three goals disallowed in the first half, they were finding this encounter more frustrating than expected, while Saudi Arabia had not even managed a single shot on goal.
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That would all change dramatically in the second half, when Saudi Arabia were back on level terms just after the restart. It came by virtue of a speculative forward pass, gathered by Saleh Al Shehri who caught the Argentina off guard, before prodding a low shot into the back of the net. But if the celebrations for that goal were wild, the best was yet to come.
Five minutes later, Salem Al Dawsari produced a moment of individual brilliance, twisting and turning inside the Argentina box, wriggling away from his markers to unleash an unstoppable shot in the top corner. Try as they might, Messi and his team simply had no reply, as the Green Falcons grabbed a 2-1 victory.
Triumphant celebrations ensued for the Saudis, having achieved one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history, much to the delight of their fans. All across the Middle East region, the sense of euphoria was an absolute joy to behold.
Germany stunned by joyful Japan display
Having lifted the trophy four times before, Germany is one of the most successful nations at previous World Cup tournaments. Heading into their opening match at the 2022 event in Qatar, they were clear favourites to secure a positive result against Japan, despite some predictions this game would be tighter than expected.
Japan were certainly providing stubborn resistance in the first half, as Germany dominated possession and attempts on goal, finally making the breakthrough in the 33rd minute. Ilkay Gundogan made no mistake, giving his team the advantage from the penalty spot, arguably feeling as though his team would extend that lead in the second half.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>This is how Japan left their dressing room after their historic win over Germany yesterday.<br><br>They also left behind 11 origami cranes, a symbol of honour ❤️?? <a href=”https://t.co/yze7pt76Oc”>pic.twitter.com/yze7pt76Oc</a></p>— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ESPNFC/status/1595700007243489281?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 24, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Nevertheless, as the game progressed, Japan became increasingly confident of their own chances, pushing forward without fear with probing passes and attempts on goal. Finally, their efforts were rewarded in the 75th minute. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer blocked the initial shot, but Ritsu Doan was there to fire the loose ball into the back of the net.
Japan began to throw caution to the wind, sensing that something monumental could be gained. Sure enough, in the 83rd minute, the reward for their effort and enthusiasm came. The long ball forward was beautifully controlled by Takuma Asano, who then rocketed in his finish from the tightest of angles.
As the final whistle blew, the outpouring of emotion was clear, especially as Japan had thoroughly deserved their shock victory. This is a moment their fans will always cherish.
Will there be more surprise results?
As these two remarkable results would suggest, the 2022 FIFA World Cup could feature plenty more surprises. Some of the lesser-fancied teams are playing without fear, almost as if they have nothing to lose and everything to the game. However, there have been some crushing results for others, like Iran being trounced 6-2 by England, while Costa Rica were utterly demolished 7-0 by Spain. But amidst what has been a spectacular tournament so far, anything is possible.